On Tuesday, my EDCI 336 class had the opportunity to have a video conference with Ian Landy (https://Technolandy@wordpress.com), the principal of a rural school on the Shuswap and an advocator for the use of e-portfolios in schools. When I walked into the video conference classroom at my university I was greeted with the image of myself on one of the big screens you can see in the photo below. Needless to say, I have never experienced something like this before and was embarrassed to see my face on the big screen. The cameras were motion censored so if you put your hand up to answer/ask a question the camera would turn to you & zoom in like you were caught on the kiss cam at a hockey game. The video conference itself was a reminder to me of how impressive and beneficial multimedia learning experiences can be. Here I am, sitting in my classroom on Vancouver Island and I am able to have a face-to-face conversation with Ian Landy, who lives 2 ferry rides away, without leaving the room.
I found what Mr. Landy had to say about e-portfolios to be very intriguing. His school uses these instead of report cards and has found his students respond a lot better to them. Mr. Landy argues that you can’t show creativity on a report card, and that this method insures that students are not compared to one another and instead showcases a student’s personal growth. E-portfolios decrease stress in students because they don’t have to worry about getting a number value put on their hard work. If a student doesn’t do well on a project, you just wouldn’t include it in their portfolio but instead show something that best showcases their abilities. E-portfolios also encourage learning for the sense of learning since students aren’t just copying work down or cheating in order to get a good mark.
I think that e-portfolios are a great method for formative assessment/evaluation in elementary schools, but realistically I don’t think they would work for high schools. When applying for universities, you usually give your average grades and then, if your grades are high enough, you will be asked to show your resume or past examples of your abilities. However, if every single student had an e-portfolio instead of their average grades, the acceptance process would take forever to complete and I just can’t see universities accepting this method.